Lance Stroll lamented a miserable weekend at Interlagos after coming home last of those still running.
The Williams driver’s Brazilian Grand Prix took a turn for the worse on Saturday morning when a failure on his gearbox caused damage to his power unit. As this was his fourth of the season Williams switched him back to his third unit which is of an older specification.
“Everything has been bad this weekend,” said Stroll. “It was very hard for me, because with the power unit we changed to after a problem in FP3, we had no qualifying mode, so I was running the old spec power unit and was losing time, lap after lap.”
Stroll failed to progress beyond the first round of qualifying, lined up 16th, and then stalled. He managed to get away and was running 13th when the Safety Car came in.
Late in the race Stroll told his team one of his tyres had become damaged.
“I had a flat spot and I knew there was going to be a problem,” he said. “I had [Romain] Grosjean on old tyres, I had DRS but I didn’t have enough drive to get alongside him so I had to dive and then you risk a flat spot and that is just what happened.”
The front-left tyre failed and delaminated, forcing Stroll to make a second pit stop and leaving him last.
“It has been a tough weekend and now I am just looking forward to Abu Dhabi,” he said.
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29 comments on “Stroll laments weekend of misfortune”
12th November 2017, 23:02
This guy talks like he isn’t the cause of most of his issues
13th November 2017, 0:08
To be fair, the mechanical issue in FP3 wasn’t his fault.
But does it explain why his weekend was so terrible after that? Nope.
In fact, he was already clearly off the pace in the Friday practice sessions, 5 tenths and 7 tenths off Massa’s lap times. Missing FP3 and having to qualify with an older engine was a disadvantage, but he makes it sound like it was all the engine’s fault. He was 0.987 off Massa’s time in Q1, ranking even behind Wehrlein’s Sauber with its 2016 Ferrari PU. Is it plausible that his engine alone cost him a second to his team mate and levelled the playing field for the Saubers? I find this thought rather amusing.
Stalling at the start? Usually driver error. But since he finished the first lap 2 places higher than he started, thanks to the pile-up in the Senna S, he didn’t really lose anything.
As for the tyre failure, blaming the engine all over again doesn’t sound too convincing. We’ve seen other drivers brake extremely late, we’ve seen other drivers lock their tyres up, but only one driver has braked a tyre to shreds. He stood out negatively in that respect, quite simply.
13th November 2017, 1:15
His racecraft is beyond bad. He can’t fight properly for a position even if his life depended on it.
He is so afraid to brake later than the others is unbelievable.
In Monza he took forever to overtake Vandoorne with that wounded bird that is Mclaren Honda on a power track cuz he kept braking earlier than Stoffel.
13th November 2017, 9:32
the more I see of STR, the more I despair of his poor racecraft (why is he in F1? well apart from a rich daddy!)
He’s not an instinctive racer, far too cautious, maybe because he knows his own limitations and is trying to avoid a DNF
An opportunity appears infront of him but he hangs back waiting for another which won’t ever come
Was looking at his front left tyre after he messed up an overtake and decided he would be lucky to finish the race without a fresh set, so wasn’t too surprised at the end…
13th November 2017, 2:01
It’s a bit strange that Massa’s leaving and Stroll is staying – if Felipe was Lawrence Stroll’s son, he’d also probably be staying at Williams ;-)
13th November 2017, 2:23
@freelittlebirds “For sure”
Massa is an Interlagos specialist and Stroll had one of his most leisurely drives of the season, really didn’t look good.
13th November 2017, 11:08
If it was just for Interlagos, Stroll was off the pace by a good margin all season. He got lucky 2-3 races that he had his best pace (at least 0.3s from Massa pace was his best) and that made him look good.
13th November 2017, 6:27
F1’s misfortune is having Stroll in the series, his race was a embarrassments to himself and the team although he seems to be in denial, the team moral must be awful by looks of the team faces in the pits….in big picture is the rumoured 80 mil worth what Lance is doing to the Williams brand?
Lance’s over and under driving in good midfield car was the worst l think l have seen in a race.
Pinak Ghosh (@pinakghosh)
13th November 2017, 4:00
Lockups lead to vibration and multiple lockups can destroy tyre, especially in high temperature, where almost everybody including the cars in front had blisters. After so many races and so many private tests, Stroll should be wary of this. Rookie mistakes. Could not even defend against Gasly.
Sad to see a seat wasted in a Mercedes powered car.
13th November 2017, 6:51
And it even happened to Stroll already once a couple of races ago, didn’t it.
13th November 2017, 5:49
Lance Stroll is something that annoys me, specially because of what the sport has become, even worse a team like Williams, one the most important and winning teams in history of F1. He is 2-16 against Massa on qualy with an AVERAGE gap of almost 1 second, that’s ridiculous. The only reason he was ahead of Felipe in points was the same reason why Alonso was behind Vandoorne also: LUCK. He is being destroyed by Massa on performance (pace), and yet Massa is the one who is leaving, and to be honest, with quite some disrespect from Williams saying that they were considering pretty much everyone to Massa’s place. Reality is that Williams 2018 will be a disastrous season unless they build a car 1s faster than the field, and that’s 99% because of Stroll and Williams management, not to tell they will lose a lot of fans because of that. It makes me think if they are letting Massa go just to have a more “matchable” driver alongside Stroll, because it is clear to me that there is no available driver who could do a better job than Massa at the moment. Massa is still better than most of the grid, to be honest, specially with these new cars. At the end of the day, even Felipe himself doesn’t deserve all that disrespectful Williams treatment, and he will be a much happier man fighting for victories and titles wherever he goes.
13th November 2017, 13:57
Good point – these cars might be favoring Massa this year and we don’t know how he’s actually doing. If Massa is actually underperforming than Stroll is underperforming by a ridiculous margin.
Either way, Williams may not be able to replace Massa with a driver who is as fast (if the cars favored Massa) or they’ll be stuck with a driver who’s even slower than the new driver. Pretty grim future for Williams next year.
13th November 2017, 17:00
And he is so arrogant in every way. Blaming the material instead himself. Not willing to learn from Massa cause he thinks he’s better. And the most annoying of all is he stays because Williams needs the money. Heard some rumors about daddy willing to take over Williams, so we never get rid of this guy, bah
13th November 2017, 17:44
Yes, that’s even worse… he always sounds arrogant, as if he wasn’t the problem, as if “if wasn’t for this I would have beaten MAssa today on qualy” when he was like more than a full second behind. So it’s quite bad actually, I can’t stand that guy, I can’t barely hear him speak, because all that happened in Williams this year with Felipe, etc, was so unfair. Last race him talking about him being in the top 10 of drivers as if it was on merit, and some media kinda supporting him, it was digusting. I think that the way his new engineer, a former engineer of Schumacher at Ferrari days, was treating him on the radio, speaks for itself pretty much, he was sounding miserable, like he couldn’t stand Stroll either.
13th November 2017, 18:40
@ruben please tell me this isn’t so , we dont want billionaires buying struggling teams so their kids can drive cars..no more chiltons, palmers and strolls please
13th November 2017, 19:13
Actually, they should have paid Massa to teach Stroll how to race faster… That’s the best bet for the kid. At the start of the year Lawrence should have talked to Felipe and made him a super offer for Felipe to mentor him – it could have been a public thing. Nothing wrong with a driver who’s driven for Ferrari for 10 years at the end of his F1 career teaching a younger teammate how to improve. I’m sure Felipe would not have minded a 2 year deal and a $20 million mentoring bonus fee which is peanuts for the Strolls.
14th November 2017, 21:22
Lance has already had private testing/lessons
13th November 2017, 8:24
Just look at his onboard camera views and you see the problem right away. if you don’t just compare it with Massa one or Ocon, Max …
Lance is just an soso driver very unconstant and the most points he got was on luck. The only time i saw an racer in him was at Monza in the rain (qualiflier) During his F3 periode he just was learning and making lots of mistakes and his second season he was champion which i found strange.
So if he doesn’t improve in 2018 i think he is stuck being an paydriver.
13th November 2017, 16:37
@macleod I think the Stroll family suffered from an advanced form of Verstappen syndrome last year which affects rational thinking for everyone and leads to hallucinations of grandeur for one’s children such as Lance joining F1 and winning races at a young age. Unfortunately, the most usual progression for folks suffering from Verstappen Syndrome is that it progresses into a bad case of Palmeritis. Hopefully, Brawn’s treatment has been successful as he had a terrible case of the syndrome after Baku.
13th November 2017, 8:37
The root cause of the problem here is not Stroll. It is the costs and rewards structure of F1. If an independent team like Williams could compete on a budget with the car and fizzy drinks manufacturers then they wouldn’t need to take someone who brings a pile of cash.
13th November 2017, 12:41
It’s been a while since Stroll reminded us about how rubbish he actually is. His drive was just pathetic.. similar to his first 6 to 7 races of the season, just not Formula 1 material.
13th November 2017, 15:21
The thing is, he’s been more or less equally rubbish in the last 5 races, it just wasn’t that obvious.
Singapore: 7 tenths down on Massa in qualy, even though Massa literally went sideways through the final corner on his fastest lap. Race turned out successful due to a perfect tyre strategy for him (he was one of extremely few drivers who only needed a single pit stop), while Massa’s race, being disrupted by a rubbish tyre strategy, made Stroll’s look good. Stroll also lost a place to Vandoorne due to a major off-track excursion, so it’s not even like he made no major mistakes and made the most of favourable circumstances.
Malaysia: Best qualifying since Monza, only 0.27 seconds off Massa. Tables turned in Stroll’s favour in the second corner, with Massa tangling with the Force Indias, losing track position as well as important parts of bodywork. Stroll still manages to make things worse when Massa, following team orders, leaves the door open for him, but Stroll misses the braking point and forces Massa to take a very wide line, allowing Vandoorne to jump both Williamses.
Japan: Obvious catastrophe, 1 second off Massa’s qualifying pace, eliminated in Q1 vs. Q3 for Massa, race packed with incidents. The extent of the catastrophe is somewhat masked by the fact that Massa only manages 10th in a difficult race for Williams, despite being miles ahead.
USA: 1 second off Massa’s qualifying pace, eliminated in Q3, while Massa misses Q3 by just 0.04 seconds. Massa finishes the race almost half a minute ahead of Stroll, but again, the full extent of the defeat is masked by the fact that Massa finishes 9th.
Mexico: 1 second off Massa’s qualifying pace. Running 3 places behind Massa at the end of the first lap (2 places when disregarding Vettel, who had damage and was headed to the pits), but a puncture on Massa’s car, as well as an unusual amount of technical issues for cars running ahead of Stroll, and a perfectly-timed VSC allow Stroll to score more points in one go than Massa did in 4 races of being consistently quicker.
Brazil: Slightly under a second off Massa’s pace in qualifying, failure to capitalise on other drivers’ misfortunes, ruined his race with a series of lockups that eventually brought his tyre to its metaphorical knees, finishing last, over two minutes (!) and two laps down on Massa (the gap had been over a minute even before his tyre failure).
The more I look at his season, the more I think that my temporary impression that he showed signs of improvement was misguided. He had a short phase during which his qualifying performances looked significantly better (Azerbaijan – Austria, where the gap was minuscule), as well as a sensational qualifying in Monza (which looks so wildly out of place in comparison to the rest of the season that I can’t help but wonder if it was really his driving that made the difference, or if the setup just happened to hit the sweet spot of tyre temperature). That string of races was bridged by Massa’s illness in Hungary, which reinforced the impression of a phase during which Stroll seemed to have left the humiliating experiences of his first races behind him.
Monza remains the only race in which Stroll finished ahead of Massa in a straight fight, and even then he finished barely ahead of Massa, who had started 5 places further at the back and been involved in several shunts in the early stages of the race.
The other highlights of his season (Canada, Baku, Mexico) all happened in races in which Massa was running ahead but taken out of contention by issues beyond his control.
Now, the problem is: Stroll is untouchable because of the money he brings to the team. But what is that money worth? Rumour has it that Massa’s contract wasn’t renewed because he was too expensive. So, Williams are essentially wasting a cockpit (and hoping that Stroll will eventually become a competent F1 driver), but the money they make with that fishy deal is insufficient to pay the salary of a decent driver? Sounds like a pretty bad deal, to be honest.
Other rumours state that Lawrence Stroll has a say on Williams’s decisions, and that he will veto any driver that’ll hurt his son’s reputation by beating him, which is why Massa had to leave, as his reputation is rather lacklustre (undeservedly, methinks), but he keeps beating Lance race after race … That’s a nasty rumour, and I like to believe it isn’t true.
Then there’s the problem with Martini, who seem to demand a driver of at least 25 years of age for promotional reasons. Again, with Stroll taking a spot and failing to meet that criterion, this seriously limits Williams’s options. Apparently, they can’t hire a driver who :
– will demand a high salary
– is under 25 years old
– is likely to make short work of Stroll and drive away his backing
Sounds like Williams got themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Are they going to hire Kubica because of the Pole’s excellent reputation (and apparent limitations that could allow Stroll to shine from time to time)?
Or are they going to hire the epitome of “cheap, old, not that quick”, namely Paul di Resta? That’s a horrifying thought, one step sideways and one step back from Massa, not quite the nail in the coffin, but not even remotely good news, either.
What if they hire young talent, possibly Kvyat or Wehrlein? Would that disappoint Martini and cost Williams money in the long term?
I can’t shake the impression that Williams have (unwittingly) mortgaged their future with a double bet on Stroll: They need him to both make huge improvements AND stay with the team, or else things are looking pretty bleak for them.
13th November 2017, 15:21
Sorry for wall of text … one thought led to another …
13th November 2017, 17:48
Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
13th November 2017, 20:18
Fantastic post. The idea that Stroll will perform next year for Williams is ludicrous. He’s a third rate driver who’s been unbeliveably lucky this season.
Williams should have kept Massa not Stroll.
14th November 2017, 7:30
How many times has this guy locked up during a race, flat-spotted a tyre, and ruined his race because of it (or at least compounded his woes, as was the case at Interlagos)? Yet another a painfully predictable mistake from Stroll.
15th November 2017, 13:26
An addendum: the Stroll effect (or any pay driver, for that matter):
+ More money pumped into the team up front (highly desirable initially)
– Underperformance on track costs team manufacturer points, leading to lower championship position, and less money paid out at season end. This spirals year-on-year.
– Undesirable bad PR; lower sales of Stroll-branded merchandise (consequently, less money generated for Williams)
– Less attractive to sponsors (lower down manufacturer championship, less competitive car, equalling less screen time) leading to less money for team
Eventually, this lack of resources leads to compromised development of the Williams car for subsequent seasons, jeopardising sustainability. Look what happened to Jordan et al. once they started hiring pay drivers. It’s ultimately only a short-term solution. A team has to get back more from a pay driver arrangement than what the driver gets in return. It’s not as simple as ‘he pays, so he stays’.
If Stroll improves next year, his cash injection will cancel out or overcome the negatives that arise from his subpar performances. Is he does not, there will be a new Williams no. 2 in 2019. Stroll will undoubtedly find a place in a lesser team until the cycle repeats itself and he is eventually dropped from F1 altogether.
16th November 2017, 2:24
You are right, it is a short term solution and will probably cost Williams they life in F1. I don’t see Williams going past 5 or 6 years from now if they keep that philosophy. The other thing is: Why would you hire a guy like Paddy Lowe to then do all of these things?? They will have to build a car 1s faster than the field to try to be at the front, if their championship would depend on Stroll and someone like a limited Kubica, or DiResta, Kyvat.
14th November 2017, 14:11
What’s probably harder to swallow is that Lance has won a podium and is in fact the youngest podium winner after Verstappen- meanwhile Hulkenberg continues to be sans pole after causing the retirement of many drivers like Stroll.
I’m getting so impatient with Hulk – the kid is so fast, such a teamplayer, really down to earth, never complained about anyone, and hasn’t let himself be beat up about anything even though he’s been dealt some of the worst cards – he just shuts up, puts his head down, and gets on about it. He should be Kvyat’s role model.
I hope his bad luck translates into a full year of good luck and he goes on to win the WDC that year. Now there’s a guy Lawrence Stroll should be bankrolling!
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